Hitachi Steps It Up in Midrange NAS

Builds additional features onto the BlueArc platform, with a hefty markup

November 30, 2007

2 Min Read
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By Terry Sweeney November 29, 2007, 6:30:00 PM

Drawing on its OEM relationship with BlueArc, Hitachi Data Systems has added to its midrange NAS portfolio with high-performance file servers.

The vendor introduced two NAS bundles earlier this week. The NAS Platform 2000 has a high-performance NAS platform head (CIFS or NFS), storage pools, file system rollback, and two enterprise virtual servers. The second bundle, the NAS Platform 2000 Nearline, has all those same features plus IP-based replication and a 48-Tbyte license.

All this performance has a pretty price tag, though: the bundles start at $180,000.

"This stuff's not cheap, that's for sure," saysDavid Vellante, co-founder and senior storage analyst for analyst forum Wikibon. He characterized the high-end NAS and clustered storage market as more of a niche for Hitachi and others right now. "But it is a market segment that's taking off as unstructured content becomes more mission-critical."Continued growth in that sector is what Hitachi's banking on here, Vellante notes. "And they've found a place where traditional NAS players like NetApp haven't been strong. BlueArc got to market first with technology that by all accounts is pretty stable."

Storage professionals may wonder, why not just get them direct from BlueArc? Its Titan 1100, on which the HDS platforms are based, is less than half the price, starting at $75,000.

HDS is quick to point out that its new platforms are integrated with the Hitachi HiCommand Software suite for storage and device management. That also enables customers to blend file- and block-based virtualization. Hitachi has also added synchronous and heterogenous replication to the mix.

Combining file and block virtualization is a neat trick but may be slightly ahead of its time. "The whole idea of treating block and file [storage virtualization] as one has been around on vendor whiteboards for a while now. But people are beginning to see the possibility of bringing them together," Vellante says. "They remain separate, despite announcements like this. We're years away from true integration."

HDS said the new platforms will support 64-bit SCSI addressing changes that allow for LUN support up to 64 Tbytes. The new clusters will also scale up to eight nodes, providing 2 Pbytes of capacity per node or per cluster, the vendor claims.Hitachi also says it's enhanced security capabilities for its virtual servers, providing multi-domain support to as many as 64 virtual servers per entity, enabling resources to be securely isolated and safely provisioned. The new software also offers isolated name space support for each secured virtual server.

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  • BlueArc Corp.

  • Hitachi Data Systems (HDS)

  • Network Appliance Inc.

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